McD’s Names Global Brand Chief

McDonald’s has elevated Steve Easterbrook to evp, global chief brand officer, a new position at the fast-food giant.

Easterbrook (shown) has been president and CEO of McDonald’s U.K. operations and also led its Northern European division.

His new role begins on Sept. 1, and he will report to McDonald’s president and COO Don Thompson.

“Steve has earned tremendous respect for his inspired leadership and his proven track record of driving the business in the U.K. and Northern Europe,” said Thompson, in a statement. “This strategic position will help us better serve and connect with our customers.”

He takes over chores from former worldwide marketing chief Mary Dillon, who left McDonald’s in May for the chief executive slot at U.S. Cellular. In addition to marketing, Easterbrook’s mandate also covers menu innovation and consumer insights.

McD’s estimated annual global media outlay approaches $2 billion, almost half of that spent in the U.S., per Nielsen. Omnicom’s DDB is the chain’s lead shop, with sibling TBWA\Chiat\Day and Publicis’ Leo Burnett in supporting roles.

This marks yet another move this year in the highly volatile fast-food category. Many chains — including Wendy’s, Arby’s, Denny’s and Red Lobster — have held searches for new ad agencies, shuffled execs and/or launched big campaigns.